Enterprise security often fails for a few specific reasons: misconfiguration and poor tooling, lackluster training and user errors, or a total lack of communication across teams. DevSecOps, a combination of development, security, and operational teams and best practices, focuses on eliminating team silos to ensure that enterprise security is injected at all stages of the product and service lifecycle. Read on to learn the specifics of how teams are boosting enterprise security with DevSecOps methodologies.
What is DevSecOps?
DevSecOps focuses on combining teams and their workflows across development, security, and operations workforces. Merging these lines of work together encourages all users and project teams to apply security best practices at every stage of the IT lifecycle.
Think of DevSecOps as a similar strategy to DevOps, ITOps, and other “ops” methodologies, but with additional security emphasis placed at each stage of the project. All of these tech strategies emphasize cross-team collaboration and flexible pivots to meet new project needs as they arise.
Security updates and initiatives sometimes take a long time to apply, especially if it causes entire projects to stall until certain security steps have been completed. With DevSecOps, iterative security checks, tools, and automated processes are applied by all team members on a DevSecOps project, thus ensuring that security problems are solved before they become project-wide issues.
Learn about another ops methodology: Transitioning to NetOps: Best Practices
Enterprise Benefits of DevSecOps
Agile project management capabilities
Much like other ops methodologies, DevSecOps lends itself well to agile project management. Projects are built in phases and are designed with team and workflow visibility in such a way that projects can shift directions and goals as needed, without sacrificing speed or quality. When security is included as a core component of agile project management strategy, teams are less likely to halt or even stop an entire project due to security concerns.
They’re also more likely to build in strong security measures that prevent future security incidents. DevSecOps establishes security measures that should be taken every step of the way, making sure that both the project and the final product are secure even before a full security audit.
Better trained staff
When security teams are incorporated into product development and project management sooner, they can teach their teammates security best practices along the way. Consequently, staff across DevSecOps teams will use best security practices in the development and implementation process, and they’ll also build out products and documentation with improved security information. This more entrenched approach to security in DevOps leaves fewer chances for user error.
Clearer visibility for project lifecycle management
On traditional DevOps and ITOps teams, security teammates are rarely given visibility into project infrastructure until there’s a security concern. This reactionary approach to project security can lead to security circumstances that grow to more complicated issues before security professionals can catch them. A DevSecOps approach gives security teams visibility into the entire project lifecycle, start to finish, allowing them to add security safeguards and mitigate security issues throughout the process.
More benefits and best practices of DevSecOps: Integrating IT Security with DevSecOps: Best Practices
Best Practices for DevSecOps Implementation
1. Train all team members on DevSecOps policies
Developers, IT operations professionals, security professionals, and other engineers are the first people who will need to be trained in DevSecOps policies and best practices. From there, it’s important for key enterprise stakeholders to understand what DevSecOps is, why it matters, and how their teams are applying the methodology to the business. Employees outside of these two groups will need to receive training on how to use these products securely at all stages of development where they have access.
2. Incorporate DevSecOps tools into your workflows
The appropriate DevSecOps software and applications can automate everything from policy management to security monitoring and troubleshooting. Look for DevSecOps tools that work for your budget and your business’s main goals. Some DevOps tools will also work, so long as they offer robust security features or integrations.
3. Follow change management best practices
Most teams in a DevSecOps structure are used to working independently and pursuing goals without consideration for other IT teams’ goals. Don’t just tell DevSecOps team members that they need to work together; offer structured support, training, and defined goals that they’ll need to meet as a team so that they stay on track. Certain change management and agile project management tools can help with structuring team communication and collaboration.
Learn about some of the Best Change Management Tools.
4. Clearly document your processes and goals
DevSecOps projects are most effective when they’re repeatable. That’s why it’s important to carefully document enterprise processes, project goals, and previous strategies that have worked well for the team. Many DevOps and DevSecOps tools offer project templating, policy management, and other features that can help with documentation.
5. Assess and monitor security on an ongoing basis
Don’t allow your team’s DevSecOps strategy to fall back to a DevOps-only strategy. The best way to keep security front-of-mind is to incorporate security monitoring at all stages of the IT lifecycle for all projects. Automated security monitoring is a helpful way to make sure that no important security steps are missed.
6. Make agile security adjustments over time
Your initial DevSecOps security strategy won’t be perfect. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments to your security plans over time, especially since project plans, teammates, and greater enterprise goals will likely pivot at some point too.
7. Seek out continuous feedback from your team
DevSecOps strategies can achieve continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) best when they’re reviewed by both the DevSecOps team and external stakeholders. Consider creating a review team that will regularly offer feedback on how these products and their processes are working for them. Most importantly, include teams from outside of IT, such as sales or human resources, to get a broader perspective from the feedback you receive.
Read next: Best DevOps Tools & Software of 2022